Friday, January 30, 2009

Email Listing Agents

So now you can email the listing agent directly from the listing.


This is in beta mode and will be removed if people abuse it. (which I am close to doing).

I strongly recommend AGAINST EVER contacting the listing agent, (Yes I know it is counterintuitive, read this).

But I offer it anyhow. Why? Because I want to make the site as open as possible. If a buyer wants to shoot himself in the foot... I wannna be the one giving them the crossbow.

Since I respect email addresses, Unlike MRIS which helps promote spam, all emails are hidden from not only the html, but also the actual email that is sent will hide the agent's email in the BCC (otherwise spam cultivators can click 100 pages and grab all the "to" emails).

I do get a BCC of the emails to make sure you all don't abuse it.

Here are some recent dumb questions.

1) "Would it be possible to schedule a viewing of the home?"

This was asked to a listing agent for an REO that just hit today. Yeah right, they don't reply to buyer agents, so why they gonna reply to you. And no, they don't even care enough to put more than 1 photo, they aren't going to email you back.

2) "can you send more info about this property like floor plans, options, closing cost assistance"

Um, no. They won't. If they had that info and they cared, they would have put it in the listing. Do not expect a reply.

3) "What is the status of the home? Is it under contract or still available."

What part of the remarks did not make sense that said "Bank has already accepted offer".

4) "I think we'd like to take a look at this property. Could you email me a plat, and any other photos, particularly of the barn, run-in, and fence? Any interior photos would be great, too. I'll check your website to see if any are there. We are seeing a place on Saturday already... maybe Sunday, or coming week?"

You maybe had them until you said "We are seeing a place on Saturday already". That usually means "I have a buyers agent". To which the listing agent will reply "why you bugging me, get your agent to show you."

5) "I would be interested in seeing this property. Please reply to my email address."

That is the buyer agents job. This will tick off the listing agent.

6) "My fiance and I were interested in taking a look at this house this weekend. We are relocating to the DC area this spring. Would we be able to look at it on Sunday morning?"

This is a bank property. You will not get a reply. Also it says "BANK HAS VERBALLY APPROVED ON LISTING PRICE," Was that not clear? Come on people. I really need to remove this feature.

7) "I am interested in this home.We need to sell the home we have now first. "

Translation: "I am a sucker." And yes, that was the entire email.

8) "Just wanted to let you know that the list price for LO6969184 most assuredly was inadvertantly entered with an extra zero. You may want to update MLS with the correct information. It is currently listed at $4,499,000."

Finally! A decent email to a listing agent.

9) "I'm interested in a rent-to-own situation. What terms is the seller considering? "

Rent to Own is for suckers, any good buyer agent would tell you that. They do not exist. It should be called... why don't you just rent and buy next year?

10) "Hello! Is this listing still available? You can either email me at the above address or call 410.5555550. Thanks so much!"

What part of "Under Contract" was not clear?

11) "We are working with a realtor- Is this home completed? Are there photos of the completed home?"


12) "Do you think that in the near future you will submit more than the six pictures. It is impossible to get an idea of what this lovely home has to offer with so few photos on a 21000 sq ft home. Can we get more soon..Please!!! I have an agent but I saw this online. "

NO! If the agent is so lazy as to only take 6 photos, AND you have your own agent... can you say DELETE.

13) "Interested in viewing X AAAAAA Ct in XXX. Will be in Area Saturday Jan 31st. Can I set up an appt? "

This is REO, you will not get a reply.

14) "I am very interested in this house based on it's description and curb appeal. Is there any way you could email me pictures of the inside of the house, so I can decide if I'd like to take a closer look? "

Yeah right. 80 days on the market. They have only 1 photo... yet that sucky agent is going to somehow take photos for you? Yeah right.

15) "Hi i am a first time buyer. i was wondering if you have already sold this house an if not what i can do to see about purchasing "

Ouch. Can you can the wolf and little red riding hood?

16) "What is the absolute minimum the sellers would consider? "


17) "iss it possible to get pics aand more info. on this prop......condition,.... "


18) "Hello i stay 5 min away and i am looking for a new house please call me i would love to see this house thank you for your time. "

Home was under contract.

19) "I came across this listing and wanted to ensure that it was in fact off the market. If not, I would appreciate a call / email back as I would like to get more details. I am in the market and would be willing to move quickly should it be available and meet my requirements. "

Again, a question for a buyer agent.

So there you have it. These were not cherry picked, just everyday questions.

So should I turn off this feature? Or make it harder to click?


Faster Cell Mode

While people loved searching from (it gets routed there automatically if you go to on your cell phone) it was still a little bloated when they got to the full listing page.

So now... each listing has been slimmed down to the bare essentials. Faster loading for cell users.

Let me know if you want me to reorder things.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now with Minimum Pricing.

So I was stubborn for a year. Not allowing people to search with a minimum price. WHy? The idea was the site was so fast that you just stopped looking once you found what you liked. I had one buyer that bought $70k UNDER his minimum price. A random bank property (mispriced) hit and that was that.

But without minimums, the sorting can get messy. (ie if there are 100 homes and you sort by year built, you might get junk up top).

So now we have old fashioned Min and Max. It will cookie what you select, so you won't have to do it each time

So let me know what you think.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Request More Photos. (Per Listing & Bonus Points)

So the Wiki MLS has added over 50,000 photos to our local MLS from buyer agents (an alternative perspective). Up until now the photos were taken by buyer agents that were already out with their clients. The idea being, "Why not share the photos with the world after the buyer decides they are not interested?" and pick up some points along the way.

Well now, a buyers on the site can specifically request photos of a particular listing.

If it works out, I might create a page that lists all the requests and the contributors can try and fulfill them. Maybe even for an extra 10 points or something.

This idea was in part from Simon Hahn, our newest rising star contributor.


Live Chat

Just added a new feature. LIVE CHAT (in VA DC MD)

I had the top WIKI contributors sent me code that would work with their current GTALK or AOLIM chat programs. Now a user will see a "LIVE CHAT" link at the top of each listing page and be able to ask 1 of 10-15 agents questions about the listing they are looking at.

Let's see if anybody uses it!

Update 1-28-09: This has been a smashing hit. 20 Realtors have signed up.


More on How to use live chat and instant messenger

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tag A Hood! Now Added to the Wiki MLS.

Just launched minutes ago. Tag A Hood (tm)

Now Realtors that have written great "hyper-local" blog posts can attach those to listings.

Using our "Tag A Hood" system, you can add your specific blog post to any listing, and it will automatically attach itself to other listings in that subdivision (ie building or neighborhood).

The points are the same as the Wiki Photo albums. 1 point for a comment, and 4 points (was 10) to link to a full blog post (with photos etc).

I recommend either making a short summary of your post, or just teasing the reader with the first paragraph and encouraging them to click the link.

This will be unmatched SEO link juice for your blog post. So not only will you get traffic from visitors, your Google ranking will rise. Try it, and give me feedback.

Frankly MLS
Photo by Peter

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Frankly MLS New Blog, New Features

So this forum will be a more frequent update on new features for and a request for feedback.

Feel free to leave questions and suggestions at anytime on any blog post.

Frank Borges LL0SA
Owner Broker